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Truth Is Stupider Than Fiction

Over at Outside The Beltway, Doug Mataconis posted this clip from "The West Wing."

I watched it, and had the following thoughts:

In the video, the Continuing Resolution would extend the federal government's operations through January 3. In reality, we're up to April 8 without a budget.

In the video, the president is an active participant in the negotiations. In reality, the president calls the participants to the White House, then goes running off for campaign appearances and vacations.

In the video, the fight is over a 1% vs. a 3% cut in funding. In reality, the current hangup is over about 0.2% of the total budget.

In the video, the president is actually decisive and resolute and principled. In reality, Obama's head is on the links.

I find myself wondering: can we trade in Obama for Martin Sheen?

Hell, at this point, I don't think we'd be worse off if we traded Obama in for Charlie Sheen.


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Comments (78)

How about Warren G. Harding... (Below threshold)

How about Warren G. Harding? In his present state?

At least HE wouldn't be running off to the golf course constantly!

Wow. A TV show. Are you ser... (Below threshold)

Wow. A TV show. Are you serious?

Reality is a liberal construct that some conservatives just don't "get".

So what do you do when you don't understand the events of the day? Why, watch tv, of course.

Do you use butter on your popcorn Jay? The answer would be about as relevant as thd thought fart of yours above.

Woop misses the point.... (Below threshold)

Woop misses the point.

And water is wet.

I am serious -- someone else posted the video, and I find it fascinating how the fantasy, ideal liberal president compares to the clown we are stuck with now. The situation is far more serious, and the fictional president is taking it more seriously than our real-life president is.

And as usual, Woop not only has no clue what he's talking about, but is compelled to demonstrate his cluelessness for all to see.


funny you should mention th... (Below threshold)

funny you should mention that last bit - just stumbled across this yesterday


Oh, and while you're flippi... (Below threshold)

Oh, and while you're flipping through channels try to find some mental comfort food be sure to tune into this - and then let your Republican leaders know that their whim of the week cannot become law simply because they declare it shall be so.

Last night, Lawrence O'Donnell went on a tirade after showing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying that he would pass a bill in the House that would automatically become law if the Senate did not act on it.

O'Donnell, who used to be a congressional aide to New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, got very upset over Cantor's action and went after him hard.

"Of course, a bill cannot become the law of the land unless passed in word for word identical form by the House and the Senate, and then signed by the President of the United States. Those three things must happen, as every American child knows who has seen any version of how a bill becomes a law, animated or not. No other member of congress in it's history has ever believed that a bill could become a law with only one of those three things happening."

He was even angrier that nobody seemed to care about Cantor's statement, blaming it on people like Michele Bachmann for lowering the standards of how we expect our elected officials to behave.

"Michele Bachmann has inured them all to utter idiocy. They are impervious to it now. A room full of Washington reporters can sit there and hear a Republican leader of Congress say the stupidest thing that’s ever been said in a congressional news conference and not respond in any way."

But he was still not done with Cantor.

"The luckiest man in the United States House of Representatives now is Eric Cantor, lucky that rank stupidity is not an expellable offense. He is also lucky that the press core has unanimously, in this era of overwhelming Tea Party idiocy, as exemplified on a daily basis by Michele Bachmann and others, defined idiocy down to the point that Eric Cantor is, even after today's press conference, taken seriously by the political press. Every day that Eric Cantor lets pass without an apology to his constituents, to the congress, to the President, and to every high school student in America who knows more about government than he does, Eric Cantor stands as an unpardonable embarrassment to every adult in his congressional district who voted for him, and a stain on the intelligence of every Republican House member who voted for him for leader."

Eric Cantor is a bona fide moran.

OK, reality over. Conservatives may now resume mental masturbation. Don't forget that Obama is black and a muslim born in Kenya, ya idiots!

Lawrence O'Donnel? Saying h... (Below threshold)

Lawrence O'Donnel? Saying he was angry is saying water is wet. Yawn!

Also, how ironic the liberals turd uses one of the writers of the clip to try to prove a point. Of course Bachman was for many years a federal tax attorney. The turd and O'Donnel wouldn't have a clue how to handle it.

To sum it up: The turd and his friends cannot defend Obamalama's actions or his policies so they have to "act out".

We have in this country a weak president. At a time when we need a strong leader. ww

Speaking of Charlie Sheen--... (Below threshold)

Speaking of Charlie Sheen-- I heard they were going to continue to produce "Two and a Half Men" by replaing Charlie Sheen, but if they replace Charlie, won't they have to change the name to "Three Men"?

Woop - I couldn't care less... (Below threshold)

Woop - I couldn't care less if he were white and born in Kansas City. He's not competent in the job, at all. He's FAILING. Skin color only matters to racists - and that you're constantly dragging it out makes me think you're a bigot yourself.

So let's look at reality.

Do you see any real signs of a recovery? Or even of real optimism? You think the oil rig workers and their families and friends in the Gulf who voted for him once are going to vote for him a second time? Or all the people who bought into the 'Hope and Change' mantra who have been bitch-slapped by the reality of no jobs, running out of unemployment, and skyrocketing energy and food prices? Do you think THEY will think he's doing a wonderful job? Do you think THEY will vote for him a second time?

Hell, he's got to shill to the Sharpton crowd because his support's even dropping THERE. Jobs going away, prices going up - these things are real and they affect the poor a lot more than the rich. And him joking about how if you can't afford to fill your tank, you need to buy a smaller car - yeah, the audience laughed, but the courtiers also laughed at Marie Antionette's remarks about how the peasants should eat cake when bread became too expensive.

Obama's a guy who knows how to replace light bulbs on his car - who got suddenly placed in as the lead mechanic on a Formula 1 team.

He's gone from thinking 'is the bulb dead, or is it the fuse?' to having to worry about bearing clearances, bolt torques, fuel-air ratios, front-rear weight differentials, pump outputs, transmission stresses, axle and wheel alignments, tire wear, disc brake runout - a million and one little and big things that he may have been vaguely aware of - I mean, what's this funny wrench with the dial on it do again? - but he can't resign, can't quit the job. He knows it'd take literally years to get to the point where he'd know what he doesn't know. The racing team's going to lose, and it'll be his fault because he doesn't know enough, but he can't quit for someone more qualified.

And frankly, looking at the current crop of Democrats, (and more than a few Republicans) I don't know who really is more qualified. They've gotten where they are, most of them, on being able to villify the opposition effectively and promise the voters that no matter what they'd get something good. They don't know how to lead, they don't know how to make hard choices, and the leadership positions are defined by longevity instead of actual leadership ability and talent.

I joked above about Warren G. Harding - but there's a certain appeal to a politician who won't do anything stupid just because he's worried about pleasing his base.

How much more simple can yo... (Below threshold)

How much more simple can you make it? Great post Jay. Linked to Hot Air post in the Greenroom.

Trump / Sheen 2012</... (Below threshold)

Trump / Sheen 2012

Winning! (comparatively speaking)

Really racking up 'the scor... (Below threshold)

Really racking up 'the score', aren't you woop?

Tell us again how well the economy is doing and how Barry kept employment under 8%?

Tell us about those 'shovel ready jobs'.

And about those 'evil lobbyists' that Barry wouldn't have around. You know, the one's they secretly meet with across the street from the White House so no records are kept.

Tell us about 'the most transparent' administration, evah!

If this reality were TV, Ba... (Below threshold)

If this reality were TV, Barry's show would have been cancelled for low Neilsen ratings.

Of corpse it would have Hollyweird's stamp of approval as 'Too big to Fail' so the show would go on with a taxpayer bailout anyways and Barry would win numerous Grammy's, Peoples choice awards, you name it.

Have another shot of cool-aid Woooop!

Tell us about thos... (Below threshold)
Tell us about those 'shovel ready jobs'. Posted by GarandFan

Here's the only one GF

Paul Ryan's budget isn't a ... (Below threshold)

Paul Ryan's budget isn't a serious document. You all know that, right?

And you all know that he was making up the projected unemployment figure of 2.8%, right? That there is no empirical basis to say that making Bush's tax cuts permanent will pay for themselves? That there isn't even the remotest possibility of reducing non-health/SS spending to the level he proposes? That Ryan's budget would actually add to the deficit?

While it would be prudent for Obama to vocally and sardonically call out Ryan for presenting a deeply unserious budget proposal that is utterly detached from moral and economic reality, the ball is certainly not in the President's court. The Republicans need to offer a serious suggestion and that means one that raises taxes on the wealthy while reducing defense spending (though not to the extent that Ryan has proposed). Otherwise they should shut the fuck up about the deficit and come clean about what their agenda is: social conservatism, shredding the social safety net, and allowing billionaires to keep all their yachts.

In the video, the ... (Below threshold)
In the video, the president is actually decisive and resolute and principled.

Decisive? Yes.
Resolute? Yes.
Principled? That depends. Was he being principled in protecting the citizens or principled for selfish reasons?

I used to watch "West Wing" when it was on. I remember that storyline, and in my opinion, Bartlett shut down the government out of pride.

In the next episode, Bartlett was pissed off that the Speaker of the House would change the deal for the CR at the last minute. Because of that and that alone, he made the call to shut down the government. Then like a typical Democrat, he then put the entire blame for the shutdown on the Republicans.

So he didn't really care so much about the people who would be hurt by a government shutdown or the effect of any spending cuts. He cared more that the SotH had the audacity to break a deal. That was his underlying principle here. Bartlett's pride was injured and he was not going to be bullied into signing off on a new CR by some upstart who wouldn't honor the deal made by Bartlett.

And along comes hyperbolist... (Below threshold)

And along comes hyperbolist: "Awk, tax the rich!, Awk tax the rich!"

Barry's proposed "budget" was "serious"?

"Wow. A TV show. Are you se... (Below threshold)

"Wow. A TV show. Are you serious?"

The fast that he is serious is both hilarious and kinda sad.

"shredding the social safet... (Below threshold)
Sarah the Impaler:

"shredding the social safety net, and allowing billionaires to keep all their yachts."

So you would be ok if Barry, Nancy, Harry, Teddy and all the other multi millionbillionaire dems gave up the vineyards, yachts and mansions?

Geeze hyper, you cannot even see that you are a parody of a parrot. Do as I say not as I do fits you and the dims perfectly.

I've often thought the Dems... (Below threshold)
Rich Fader:

I've often thought the Dems might have been better off drafting Martin Sheen to run, rather than any of their last few candidates. I'm not kidding.

Hyper, care to elaborate on... (Below threshold)

Hyper, care to elaborate on "social conservatism, shredding the social safety net, and allowing billionaires to keep all their yachts."

I'm especially interested in the shredding part. Care to explain how Ryans budget does that?

I'm glad that hyper brought... (Below threshold)

I'm glad that hyper brought up those billionaire yachts. Talk about 'taxing the rich'.

How's John Fucking Kerry doing? Paid the tax on his yacht yet?

How about the Kennedy's having Rose declared a 'resident of Florida' at the time of her death in Massachusetts to avoid estate taxes? Just how is one 'a resident' of a state they haven't been in for 20 years?

And then there's Warren Buffet. Moaning about NOT BEING ALLOWED to pay more in taxes. Did you know the government put a gun to his head, threatening to kill him if he paid MORE in taxes?

So let's hear some more about 'taxing the rich'.

The best thing about the pl... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

The best thing about the place Mataconis blogs is the fact he has Mantis there as an audience. I call the place the echo chamber. If Dougie posted it, it is twisted.

"Hell, at this point, I don... (Below threshold)

"Hell, at this point, I don't think we'd be worse off if we traded Obama in for Charlie Sheen."

That should leave a mark.

OH NO NO NO, I'll keep the ... (Below threshold)

OH NO NO NO, I'll keep the incompetent communist puppet thank you very much, we don't need no religiously motivated do-gooder in the Algore vein anywhere near the white house.

[quote]If we must have a tyrant a robber barron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.

- C.S. Lewis[/quote]

Ahem. Here is the ACTUAL q... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Ahem. Here is the ACTUAL quote from Dr. Lewis:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."




(multiple citations to show this version is the correct and valid quote, rather than just picking one I like)

The perversion to make the indictment about the religious (inqusitor) rather than the imposition of a self-impressed government proves you as dishonest as you are short-thought. In the age of the Internet, surely you realized you would be caught quickly, Idahoser, even if you had not also chosen one of the most famous moral cautions of the last century.

You are caught, disproven, and dismissed, sir.

You all whine about there b... (Below threshold)

You all whine about there being rich liberals and Democrats, but these rich liberals and Democrats want to increase revenues to sustain government programs that disproportionately benefit poor people. Nobody is saying that there should not be rich people: the crux of the disagreement is whether all of the sacrifice ought to be borne by the neediest members of society or not. Paul Ryan thinks it should be, whereas Barack Obama does not.

Paul Ryan is either insincere and evil, or an imbecile, or, more plausibly, all of the above. His proposed "budget" is not a starting point for a discussion: it is a giant fucking neon sign that says This man is not serious. He should be ignored.


Um, DJ, I think you've mist... (Below threshold)

Um, DJ, I think you've mistaken sitting on a high horse for holding the high ground on this one.

Google "Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories"

Page 81, of an essay that begins on page 74.

Your quote comes from God in the Dock, I believe. The root concept of both quotes was a well worn device for Lewis.

It seems Nick Gillespie at ... (Below threshold)

It seems Nick Gillespie at reason.com gets it.

Here's what he has to say about the 2011 federal budget:

Dems oughta face facts. The only reason that they are in a pickle is because they utterly failed to pass a fricking budget last year even though they controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. There’s no way around it, fellers: You stunk up the joint worse than the enema man, Snoopy Poopy Poop Dogg, and Alan Simpson together.

This marks the only time since current budget-process rules were adopted in 1974 that a budget didn’t get done. Nice going, Dems. Regardless of who voters end up blaming this time around, in your heart, you know you suck."

We can talk about who's budget is serious - although for me a "budget" that runs multiple $trillion deficits lacks some "seriousness." But a political party which just wants to party, having too much fun to offer ANY budget at all when there is no effective opposition, is... is... light, minor, trivial, unimportant, yes, unserious.

You'll notice of course, that even with this the leftist troll can't fail to misuse the English language. The above are antonyms for serious. Would anyone call Ryan's budget proposal "trivial or unimportant?" And, frankly, the Dems failing to conduct the people's business also is not "unserious;" it's Wisconsin-like in it's brazenness disregard for it's duty to the public.

Unfortunately, if you are going to criticize Ryan's budget for substantive reasons - unnecessary, poorly developed, contradictory, unfocused, incomplete, etc. - you, as a well meaning leftist troll, would have to address these issues substantively and offer comprehensive criticism. Otherwise you'd seem... unserious.

A selective response to cer... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

A selective response to certain of hyperbolist's comments:

H: "Paul Ryan's budget isn't a serious document."

If you mean that he never submitted it as a formal bill for the budget, you are correct. However, in context Rep. Ryan was making a point and intended to start discussion and a dialogue in Congress about the duties and needs of the government in planning the budget. You seem to have failed to notice this fact.

H: "there is no empirical basis to say that making Bush's tax cuts permanent will pay for themselves"

The problem, as Mr. Ryan effectively observed, is spending, not that we do not tax enough. Sure, if Congress spends like drunken liberals, cutting taxes won't work, but forcing necessary cuts in spending is necessary and healthy, and by the way most Americans found the Bush tax levels appropriate, as evidenced by the high GDP growth and low unemployment statistics from his time in office.

H: "Ryan's budget would actually add to the deficit"

In your dreams. Interesting to see that you did not even try to link one salient fact to that claim.

H: "the ball is certainly not in the President's court."

Well, I do have to admit that expecting Obama to actually do his job would be wishful thinking, at best. But for all his pontificating and finger-pointing, the President is elected to lead, and this President has done nothing close to his job description.

H: "raise taxes on the wealthy while reducing defense spending"

Quite possibly the most stupid and asinine contention anyone has raised in this discussion. You must be proud.

H: "they should shut the fuck up about the deficit"

The majority party in the Hosue should just shut up if they don't say what you, a foreigner who apparently understands neither the issues, the evidence, the stakes or the available realistic solutions, demand from them? I take back my last comment - THIS ONE is the most stupid and asinine of the discussion. But I'm sure you have an even more impressive faceplant in store ...

Hey hyper - is Reid 'seriou... (Below threshold)

Hey hyper - is Reid 'serious'. You know, MAJORITY LEADER of the Senate. The guy who hasn't submitted a budget in 18 months?

Pull your head out of your ass once in a while.

SCSIwuzzy, the point is you... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

SCSIwuzzy, the point is your own phrase, the "root concept". The context in which Idahoser used the quote, in addition to the fact that he chose - deliberately - to use the less-common wording, betrays either a fundamental misunderstanding of what Lewis was saying, or a deliberate and malicious perversion of that message.

Hank: part of the disagreem... (Below threshold)

Hank: part of the disagreement hinges on funding abortion (a legal medical procedure), which is the socially conservative dimension I alluded to; allowing billionaires to keep their yachts is to do with not asking the richest Americans to sacrifice while gutting social spending; and shredding the safety net is in reference to Ryan's long-term ambition of replacing Medicare and Medicaid with vouchers that will actually raise the cost of healthcare while limiting access to care among lower and lower-middle class Americans. The "plan" would allow those already enrolled in the programs to stay enrolled, but would limit future access.

You wanted me to elaborate, so I did. Tell me, exactly what part of Ryan's "budget" do you like best? Perhaps a fairer question: what is there to like at all about it?

"what is there to like at a... (Below threshold)

"what is there to like at all about it?"

It keeps Barry jumping in front of the camera busy making up stupid excuses on why he is doing such a miserable job instead of being out on the back 9 where his heart lies.

Thats a +

Now would be a great time f... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Now would be a great time for about 4 or 5 undercover Planned Parenthood sting videos ffrom different cities.

Hyper -I remember ... (Below threshold)

Hyper -

I remember coming across a story a long time back (must have been 30 years or more) - about a man lost in the desert who comes across a pump sticking out of the ground. At the base of the pump is a box. Inside the box was a gallon jug of water and a note in a glass jar.

The note read - "You'll need the full gallon of water to moisten the seals in the pump. They dry out quickly, and you can't pump anything up. Pour in half the water, wait about fifteen minutes, and pour in the other half while working the pump handle to prime it. Fill the jug first - you'll need to leave it for the next guy."

"You all whine about there being rich liberals and Democrats, but these rich liberals and Democrats want to increase revenues to sustain government programs that disproportionately benefit poor people."

Wouldn't it be better to DECREASE the number of poor people? And how do you do that? By sucking MORE money from the private sector?

Yes, you can drink the water needed to prime the pump - you can 'raise revenue to help the poor' but then what? Have you improved their lot long-term? Have you made the business climate better, increased their chance for employment?

There's an old joke about Liberals loving the poor so very much that they do everything they can to make sure there's as many poor as possible.

I'm starting to think it wasn't a joke.


"allowing billionaires to k... (Below threshold)

"allowing billionaires to keep their yachts is to do with not asking the richest Americans to sacrifice"

Yadda yadda yadda..............tell that to the Kennedys, Kerry and Buffett.

"part of the disagreement hinges on funding abortion"

Yeah. When they get pregnant on the taxpayer dime, THEN they can get an abortion on the taxpayer dime.

What part of "broke" don't you understand? It will soon be to the point we can't even pay the interest on our outstanding debt with ALL the tax money collected annually.

The gravy train is over. The "Great Society" is dead. We're borrowing money to pay the Social Security "Trust Fund" IOU's just to make monthly payments NOW.

Jay TeaCant you ju... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jay Tea

Cant you just ban Woop and get it over with.

a. He never adds anything to the conversation

b. He doesnt stay on topic for more than one post.

c. His allegations of racism are approaching near Lee Ward proportions. SHow me the last time he made 2 posts back to back that didnt accuse someone of racism.

d. I cant think of a post he has made which didnt insult someone, usually the writers of the blog. Constructive criticism is one thing, woop is another.


Hyper why should the govt fund abortion? Maybe you think they shoulf fund boob jobs as well. How about liposuction so people can feel better about themselves? Or nose jobs? Hell maybe you can get a brain transplant along the way.

...as evidenced by the h... (Below threshold)

...as evidenced by the high GDP growth and low unemployment statistics from his time in office.

And what, this wasn't the case when Clinton was in office?

Here's why Ryan's plan will add to the deficit, DJ: voters won't allow the GOP to deny them Medicare and Medicaid, and so a large part of Ryan's "rationale" for balancing the budget while reducing revenues goes out the window. Spending will remain high, revenues will remain inadequate, and the deficit will grow.

The fact remains, Paul Ryan is either cruel or stupid, or both.

If Republicans cared about curbing the deficit to avoid inflation--which, by the way, is not always an inherently sensible thing to do--they would let the Bush tax cuts expire and reduce defense spending. The United States does not need better cruise missiles, it needs better schools and well-funded post-secondary education.

Whatever. You're already convinced that an already insufficient safety net is unsustainable, and that lower taxes are necessarily desirable as an a priori fact (regardless of whether or not this is theoretically or empirically supportable). I hope for your children's sake that those stupid F-35 JSFs will carry a high resale value.

Hyper, What's to like?... (Below threshold)

Hyper, What's to like?

The fact the he actually put out a budget, something the dems have avoided since they started spending us into oblivion.

From what I can gather, it proposes that Fed agency budgets go back to 2008 levels.

It includes tax reform that closes loopholes.
I think it includes tax cuts equally across the board. (not 100% sure)

It tries to address Medicare funding, providing vouchers instead of fee for service payments.

It includes welfare reform similar to what was very successfully inplemented during the Clinton administration.

The repubs have been accused of not being serious about the budget, that all they do is criticize Obama and the dems. Well, Ryan has answered that. And as we heard so often with Obamacare, no legislation is perfect. That is true of Ryans proposal also. But it's a start.

He's stepped forward with some possible answers.

Has anyone else?

Hyper, as your your concern... (Below threshold)

Hyper, as your your concern over Medicare-----don't even bring up Nancy and Harry ripping $500 BILLION out of it to fund the Obamacare you were beating the drums for.

Oh, wait! THEY DIDN'T. Guess Timmy will just print $500 BILLION out of thin air to make up that shortfall.

Fucking hypocrite!

"You all whine about there ... (Below threshold)

"You all whine about there being rich liberals and Democrats, but these rich liberals and Democrats want to increase revenues to sustain government programs that disproportionately benefit poor people."

Democrats and liberals don't pay taxes. Just ask Charlie Rangel.

The TRILLIONS spent on "The Great Society" really worked out well for 'the poor' didn't it? Too bad we didn't just give them the money, because we'd have then been able to tax the hell out of them for some other 'worthwhile' government program.

HyperYachts funny ... (Below threshold)


Yachts funny you mention that. The was sin tax where we taxed the rich.
What happened well they stopped buying them inn the USA and went over seas. This resulted in less money and a number of business going out of business. The thing is that people are not static. You tax behavior changes. That is why the amount of revenue the government collects goes up with lower tax rates.

So now that you have higher revenues you need to spend less. It time for government to start making money work smarter instead of harder. Like many companies the rolls need to be trimmed. Since many government jobs total compensation is equal to private sector works it time to take protections away and have them compete. Government programs need to be held to the same accounting rule and programs that do not work need to be cut. Programs that duplicate others need to be consolidated.

Government contract need to be evaluated on more criteria than lowest bid and ethnic and genalital status of the owner.

SS and MC/MC need to be overhauled and eventually eliminated.we last as nation without it for most our history and it obvious it does not work.

"The TRILLIONS spent on ... (Below threshold)

"The TRILLIONS spent on "The Great Society" really worked out well for 'the poor' didn't it?"

Not so much.... I remember one of the justifications for canceling a lot of NASA's programs in the '70s was that it was just a waste of money that was needed elsewhere. So a lot of companies got their contracts canceled and went under, lots of people got unemployed...

And nothing improved. The money was tossed out as a sop to buy votes. Maybe welfare checks increased by a buck or two. We took a chance at the stars, and pissed it away for political expediency.

Does there ever come a point where a liberal will go "You know, we've been throwing money at this for a hell of a long time, there's been no improvement - maybe we're doing the wrong thing here..."?

Hcddbz -The luxury... (Below threshold)

Hcddbz -

The luxury tax almost killed off the small aircraft market. Cessna and Piper were hit hard, and had to lay off a lot of workers. You see, nobody NEEDS a new small aircraft like the Cessna 172, it's strictly an optional purchase. And when faced with buying used and NOT paying a hefty tax or buying new and paying the tax - or not buying at all... a lot of folks who would otherwise have bought new got used.

Hank, it isn't a budget. It... (Below threshold)

Hank, it isn't a budget. It's a conversational starting point that is so far removed from reality that it ought to be ignored. And Obama seems to be ignoring it, waiting for Boehner to finally give up on trying to placate the Tea Party while conducting serious government business.

The vouchers that would be offered in lieu of Medicair would add another layer of bureaucracy to your already shitty healthcare system and drive up prices. These vouchers would not provide the same level of coverage that Medicair currently does. The proposal is a non-starter.

Here's a better proposal than what Ryan has tabled: do nothing. Seriously, you'd be better off.

GarandFan: Social Security does not contribute to your deficit. If that's the first time you've heard that, write it down so you don't forget. If you've heard it before and you're choosing to ignore it, then great, you're a cool dude.

What part of "broke" don't you understand?

Allowing the tax cuts on those who earn $1m+ per year will allow a lot of poor kids to continue going to school and continue to receive food stamps. It will allow a lot of people who are facing long-term (permanent) unemployment to sleep at night, knowing they will receive Medicare. It will go a long way towards addressing the deficit problem. But then, as is obvious to anyone trying to be impartial about this (and really, I have less reason to care about this than any of you), this is not about the deficit. This is trying to finance unsustainably low tax rates for people who do not feel that they ought to contribute to the overall good of the population, so long as they're doing alright.

Hcddbz: your country was a fucking shit-hole before the Great Society. If you think your country could function without a social safety net, then your understanding of history would appear to extend as far back as the 1980s.

All right hyper, since you ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

All right hyper, since you have once in a while shown the ability to think rationally, I will answer your last:

D: "as evidenced by the high GDP growth and low unemployment statistics from his time in office."

H: "And what, this wasn't the case when Clinton was in office?"

Indeed it was, when the GOP-controlled House discussed and passed responsible budgets. Clinton did his part by submitting budgets in 1997-9 that were far saner than what he tried to pass off in 1993-5. The problem is that Obama and the Democrats passed a very poor budget in 2009, and did not even try to pass one last year. One might ask, and should, why the Democrats made no attempt at all to do their job last year? In any case, even you should be able to recognize that Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton.

H: "voters won't allow the GOP to deny them Medicare and Medicaid"

False contention, hyper. Everyone understand that cuts are necessary, and cuts to Medicare and Medicaid can hardly be compared to eliminating them. You have also proved again that you missed the point; Ryan's message was also that these programs are nice to have but are not mandated by the Constitution, no matter how many times some yahoo tries to claim it.

H : "The fact remains, Paul Ryan is either cruel or stupid, or both."

Your invective is both false and adds nothing to the discussion. It betrays, in my opinion, the absence of valid substance to your argument.

H: "If Republicans cared about curbing the deficit ... they would let the Bush tax cuts expire and reduce defense spending"

So, you still think repeating a baseless, unsupported contention makes it more believable? Again, the problem is spending, specifically entitlements. Defense is in the Constitution; the Department of Education is not.

And as a parent, I resent your malicious claim that to be conservative somehow means I hate children. I object in the strongest possible terms your use of such a tactic. Turn it around, imagine some conservative saying that liberal politics are meant to hurt and kill children, and see if you don't rankle at such a cheap shot. If you mean to be taken seriously at all here or get any kind of respectful answers from me or anyone like me, you damn well take back that claim right now.

"your country was a fucking... (Below threshold)

"your country was a fucking shit-hole before the Great Society"

Yeah, that's why all those people immigrated here, right?

You're all about the liberal concern for "the poor". Where was your fucking liberal concern last August, September and October when the liberals held majorities in BOTH houses?

Social Security DOESN'T contribute to the deficit? When we're fucking BORROWING money to make monthly payments?

Fucking idiot.

Hyper -<a href="ht... (Below threshold)

Hyper -


Seriously - watch it.

Hyper, sorry but if you're ... (Below threshold)

Hyper, sorry but if you're getting your info (and hate) from balloon juice, there's not much more to say. I don't mind references to liberal blogs, but that one is so far over the top it's disgusting. Might as well use little green footballs next.

everyone, congratulate hype... (Below threshold)

everyone, congratulate hyper. He managed to successfully derail the thread like a champ.

Tina, jim x, and 419 could take lessons from him.


Hyper, why do you even care... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyper, why do you even care? Why not blog on some canadian blogs and spread your tripe there. You know the place where the minister of health had to wait like 9 months for an operation.

JLawson, when you look at c... (Below threshold)

JLawson, when you look at countries with higher standards of life than your own, the first thing that comes to your mind should not be: maybe poor people get too many handouts!

DJ: I'm not defending Obama in this thread. The only Democrat who seems capable of rallying about support around a coherent message is Nancy Pelosi. I'm just trying to point out to everyone that Paul Ryan's ideas are detached from reality and if the GOP cared one whit about passing a budget so that soldiers (not to mention GOP staffers) could continue to receive paycheques, they would proffer a reasonable document and initiate a debate.

Instead we have a pack of fucking retards preventing Boehner from doing his job because they don't like Planned Parenthood.

Don't be so testy, it's unbecoming. Conservatives think trickle-down economics will benefit the neediest members of society, whereas Democrats believe robust funding of public schools and food stamp programs are the solution. Empirical evidence would suggest that Reagonomics widens the gap between rich and poor, whereas a more Clintonian approach--higher taxes on the upper bracket--mitigates this trend.

I'm not saying that you don't care about children. You're probably a great parent. I am saying, though, that a certain ideological strain fails to address the needs of the poor because of the false assumption that giving rich people money is a solution to social problems, which in turn causes children to suffer.

HyperTaxation is t... (Below threshold)
retired military:


Taxation is the problem. Spending is the problem. Hey I have an idea. we can gut our military so it can be the equivalent of Canada's and then we can depend on another country to protect our national interests just like Canada does. Then we can afford all the free giveaways.

Only problem with that is there is no other country to proect our national interests.

Nobody is borrowing money t... (Below threshold)

Nobody is borrowing money to make monthly SS payments. SS is solvent for the near term and nearly solvent in the long term. Either you've been lied to or you're lying.

DJ, I had to spend five minutes looking for an article to support my broader point that wasn't posted on a liberal blog (because everything on liberal blogs is to be rejected outright, right Hank?)


A rising tide does not raise all boats.

Hank: respond to this, then. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/04/07/Wealthy-Get-Free-Pass-in-Ryan-Budget.aspx

Hyper, to use your own lang... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Hyper, to use your own language since you ignore anything else, STFU. You have lied and been abusive. Now you are not even willing to recognize when you have stepped way out of bounds.

You're not worth my attention any more.

" The only Democrat who see... (Below threshold)

" The only Democrat who seems capable of rallying about support around a coherent message is Nancy Pelosi."

You cannot be serious.

Put the keyboard down, step back slowly, and please get some help.

". I am saying, though, ...... (Below threshold)
retired military:

". I am saying, though, ...giving rich people money ...to suffer.

We arent giving rich people ANYTHING. THEY EARNED IT why shouldnt they get to keep it.

"everyone, congratulate hy... (Below threshold)

"everyone, congratulate hyper. He managed to successfully derail the thread like a champ."

Jay, Maybe so, but he lived up to the title.
And thanks for the reminder. I'll have to be more careful myself in the future.

March 14, 2010 3:33 PM<br /... (Below threshold)

March 14, 2010 3:33 PM
The Associated Press

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. • The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration.

It's time to start cashing them in.

For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money in payroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year.

Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.

Sounds like a good time to start tapping the nest egg. Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg's municipal offices.

Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn't be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come.

Yeah, no DEFECIT there, right?

Christ, Hank, you don't hav... (Below threshold)

Christ, Hank, you don't have to like what she's saying to recognize that the woman is at least capable of getting a few ducks in a row. More than can be said for Reid, or--for that matter--for Boehner. He's unable to do his job because a loud, vicious faction of his party wants to de-fund Planned Parenthood. If he had any stones he'd tell them to be quiet and let the politicians do politics. But instead he humours them, and now your government is going to be shut down. Nice work everyone!

retired_military, you fail to understand certain basic tenets of the social contract that transcend the Constitution of the United States. That's fair, you didn't study this stuff in school (one would assume), but know that Adam Smith (father of the free market) advocated for taxing income earners to a level where all members of society could appear in public with dignity; or, if you prefer, "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society".

Go on and worship your Galtian overlords, though. I don't care. Just understand that that small sub-set of people who understand economics and have read Ryan's "budget" (or whatever it is) think it's an utter fiction, totally detached from reality.

DJ: lying? Really? Swearing does not become you.

GarandFan, you should read ... (Below threshold)

GarandFan, you should read more.

Social Security does not add to the deficit. Medicare does, but controlling costs by eliminating insurance companies from the equation would bring the price-outcome equation in the U.S. roughly in line with the rest of the civilized world.


And SS is not in crisis, and does not add to the deficit. It is not a liability, it is a trust fund.


There is merit to arguing with people who think that giving money to billionaires is the best way to close a budget deficit, but there is no merit to arguing with people who don't understand one of the pillars of their own fucking society.

Hyper"it is a trus... (Below threshold)
retired military:


"it is a trust fund.

Which is full of IOUs

Hyperref Adam Smit... (Below threshold)
retired military:


ref Adam Smith

"On the subject of luxury consumables, he is adamant about the definiton of 'luxury' and of 'necessary.' By his definition, a 'necessary' may vary from place to place and from time to time. At the time of his writing, linen shirts, leather shoes and a minimum of food and shelter were definitely to be regarded as essential to a minumum decent standard of living. Taxes on salt, soap, etc., he harshly criticized as inequitably taking from the poorest elements of society. Taxes on luxuries, which were to include tobacco, he considered excellent in that no one is obliged to contribute to the tax: "Taxes upon luxuries have no tendency to raise the price of any other commodities except that of the commodities taxed ... Taxes upon luxuries are finally paid by the consumers of the commodities taxed, without any retribution."


So per Adam Smith abortion would be considered a luxury and should be only paid by those who "consume it"

Thanks for playing.

No, retired_military, given... (Below threshold)

No, retired_military, given that in contemporary society they are a medical procedure to which all citizens have a legal right, he would say that given the undignified alternative to having the procedure in a hospital, it falls upon society to furnish the cost.

Anyone who classifies abortions as a "luxury" is a creepy weirdo with a very strange notion of women's autonomy.

If you take the quote literally then you agree that every person is entitled to a decent wardrobe at the government's expense. I don't think even Bernie Sanders would agree with that.

The general point--which is to say, the only point worth extracting from a bit of political philosophy penned centuries ago--is that rich people are obligated to pay for things that poor people use but cannot themselves afford to pay for. So your notion that rich people are entitled to all of their income because it's "theirs" flies in the face of even the most stringent defender of the free market.

Ergo, you're dumb.

Nice articles from Adamsmit... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Nice articles from Adamsmith.org


Other Adam Smith quotes

"A very poor man may be said in some sense to have a demand for a coach and six; he might like to have it; but his demand is not an effectual demand, as the commodity can never be brought to market in order to satisfy it. "

"A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him. " (note it doesnt say the govt has to sustain him)

"The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

"There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.

"The bounty to the white-herring fishery is a tonnage bounty; and is proportioned to the burden of the ship, not to her diligence or success in the fishery; and it has, I am afraid, been too common for vessels to fit out for the sole purpose of catching, not the fish, but the bounty.

"The bounty to the white-herring fishery is a tonnage bounty; and is proportioned to the burden of the ship, not to her diligence or success in the fishery; and it has, I am afraid, been too common for vessels to fit out for the sole purpose of catching, not the fish, but the bounty.

The bounty to the white-herring fishery is a tonnage bounty; and is proportioned to the burden of the ship, not to her diligence or success in the fishery; and it has, I am afraid, been too common for vessels to fit out for the sole purpose of catching, not the fish, but the bounty.

"Public services are never better performed than when their reward comes in consequence of their being performed, and is proportioned to the diligence employed in performing them.

" (in other words the more you produce the more you should receive)

Jeebus... hyper is trying t... (Below threshold)

Jeebus... hyper is trying to quote Smith again... wrongly.

Smith's point was that there are goods that someone will treat like a nescesity even though it isn't, because they believe that to not have it would indicate that they we so poor and poor because of their own sloth or poor character to the greater society at large. Leather shoes in England, if I recall, was his famous example, vs the wooden shoes or bare feet common in continential Europe.
But if your going to invoke Smith, oh canuckle head, invoke all of Smith. He thought taxes on profits and wages were a bad idea. income taxes, to Smith, were the worst taxes of all because of the negative incentive if applied to productive labor. So he would never advocate taxing income earners.
He liked sales taxes on those things that nobody was obliged to buy (his definition of luxury, so a leather shoe that was not a luxury in London was a luxury in Brussels). The tax is fair, and is easy to collect with less need for tax collectors sucking off profits. Tax spending, not earning, was in line with Smith.

I don't think he was concenred with their (the poor) diginity in public... he was stating that they would buy the luxury they saw as a need even at the expense of a real need. Buying leather shoes rather than fruit, even though the lack of fruit could lead to malnutrition and disease.

Oh shit, it's your main man... (Below threshold)

Oh shit, it's your main man Allen West calling the GOP House a bunch of fuck-bags!


Anyway, SCSI, I know that Adam Smith was an advocate for social spending as a means to better facilitate the flow of capital--but an advocate for social spending he was.


None of you are smart, or c... (Below threshold)

None of you are smart, or clean or correct. Only I understand the intricacies of politica----SQUIRREL!!

The first truth is that eve... (Below threshold)

The first truth is that everything means what I say it-FRISBEE!!

Hyper, I know we've been ov... (Below threshold)

Hyper, I know we've been over this before... Smith approved of spending on infrastructure and govet functions that supported, protected or enhanced commerce. Roads. Bridges. Ports. The Royal Post office.

A counter to your links:

Hyper, I know we've been ov... (Below threshold)

Hyper, I know we've been over this before... Smith approved of spending on infrastructure and govet functions that supported, protected or enhanced commerce. Roads. Bridges. Ports. The Royal Post office.

A counter to your links:

Hyper - basically, from my ... (Below threshold)

Hyper - basically, from my uneducated standpoint if the spending runs higher than the income then the entire budget is contributing to the deficit, not just the last couple items on the budget.

Re abortion - legal doesn't mean that the government should be obligated to provide it. I believe it should be legal. I don't believe the government, when cash-strapped, should be obligated to pay for it. (It's an elective procedure, after all.) Rape? That's different. Anything else? Pony up for it.

When you run out of money, and you're out of credit, you prioritize. You cut out luxuries, and cut as much as you can on the necessities. The problem is when you insist that everything is a necessity, and can't be touched.

Something's got to give.

The Federal Goverment needs... (Below threshold)

The Federal Goverment needs to start doing it job. Their is no need to fund Planed Parent Hood. All those crying about it can donate their time and money to keep it up and running. The fact that the President of the United States who has the US military deployed in harms way believes them to be distractions and the state of Planned Parenthood a priority tells us what he is.

He has been disneaged from the process. He would rather do anything but his job unless he is grandstanding. Instead of leading the discussion he has acted like a college professor giving out homework assigments.

In the end we are talking about less than 1 week of spending. Once we have identifeid all the Non essental goverment agencies. It might be time consider how we can permanently down size them.

They should cut all the fun... (Below threshold)
retired military:

They should cut all the funding for the following:

The arts (I mean no new acquisitions, shows, displays, not talking about closing museums, just no new acquisitions for them)
Planned parenthood
All grants and studies
All subsidies for everything (if it cant exist on its own (ethanol, farm subsidies, etc not talking about cutting food stamps off)
All financial aid for school
All financial aid for folks buying houses.
Cut unemployment benefits to 4 months.

Once we get the budget balanced AND THE DEFICIT PAID OFF then we can restore spending for some of the above. As Adam Smith said - Spend on NESCESSITIES not luxuries.

They should cut all the fun... (Below threshold)
retired military:

They should cut all the funding for the following:

The arts (I mean no new acquisitions, shows, displays, not talking about closing museums, just no new acquisitions for them)
Planned parenthood
All grants and studies
All subsidies for everything (if it cant exist on its own (ethanol, farm subsidies, etc not talking about cutting food stamps off)
All financial aid for school
All financial aid for folks buying houses.
Cut unemployment benefits to 4 months.

Once we get the budget balanced AND THE DEFICIT PAID OFF then we can restore spending for some of the above. As Adam Smith said - Spend on NESCESSITIES not luxuries.

Poor hyper had his a... (Below threshold)

Poor hyper had his
ass Woooped [email protected]!

if only there was document ... (Below threshold)

if only there was document that could tell us what the government should do?
Maybe a listing some where

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

"Congressmen who willfully ... (Below threshold)

"Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damages morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hung"
— Abraham Lincoln






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